Matt Harmon of NFL.com used “Next Gen Stats” to rank the best number one cornerbacks in the league last season. Passer rating allowed into their coverage was the primary ranking criteria. The Baltimore Ravens own Jimmy Smith cracked the top ten:
Their top nine cover corners in order were Xavier Rhodes, Aqib Talib, Casey Heyward, Janoris Jenkins, Brent Grimes, Marcus Peters, Richard Sherman, A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey. Jimmy Smith bested Patrick Peterson, Josh Norman, Darrelle Revis and Byron Maxwell among other big name corners, according to the passer rating measurement.
As Harmon pointed out, staying on the field is Smith’s biggest issue. He has missed thirteen games over the last three seasons and was hindered by a nagging foot injury throughout 2015. Increasing his interception totals would also help propel Jimmy to elite status.
Jimmy is under contract with the Ravens through the 2019 season. His average salary cap charge for the next three seasons is $13.1 million after the Ravens restructured his contract last offseason. This salary puts Smith among the ten highest paid cornerbacks in the league before the 2017 free agents cash in.
The Ravens reportedly fired their strength and conditioning coach, Bob Rogucki, earlier this month. Hopefully his replacement can help Smith avoid future injuries using the innovative training technology. In any event, the Ravens should add another starting caliber cornerback to their roster this offseason.